tv [untitled] October 11, 2012 12:30pm-1:00pm PDT
prop k in 295, do you have an open game board for everybody, other than the people who were inside the transit district, did you model shadows for the mexican museum, the museum of modern art, the expansion of mosconi, a residential development contemplated in chinatown, a new project proposed at this moment in the central corridor plan area, etc., taking like a bigger more comprehensive look at all other potential shadow impacts in order for us to have a slightly better understanding? the transit tower, there is a clear response on your part, however, the 12 others are basically as you call them shadow outlines and it's very difficult to judge anything now just based on an outline, it is
like a ghost, although i understand that your tools are indeed accurate and allow you to see certain things. my question is, there are certain projects like the mexican museum as the gentleman thought would be discussed here today which you could have taken in a broader hypothetical study, have you done that and have you just not put that in today's discussion. >> the analysis which is in the eir is a cumulative analysis of all potential buildings that are on file that might shadow any of the parks that are under sdrution and the only building that falls outside the plan area that meets those conditions would be the 707 mission project. the central corridor is in its early phases of planning and within that, i don't believe anything that's been contemplating which is deep south of market would have any
impacts on any of the parks that are under discussion today. i don't believe that the expansion would impact any of the parks under discussion today, but the analysis that was in the air was it was a cumulative analysis, it cast a wide net and looked to capture everything that was on file that might affect the parks that are under discussion. >> thank you. >> commissioner hillis? >> you show the cfd's provide about 15 million dollars of funding. what properties are participating in that cfd, is it a requirement? >> so, the cfd, the community facilities district is a requirement of all projects in the plan area that build in excess of 9-1far on the site, so all the buildings in the plan area, all the large ones would be required to
participate. >> okay. >> and then the shade calculations that are done, is there a time in the morning and in the evening before sunset or after -- sorry, after sun rise or before sunset that we start to calculate or is it -- >> yes, prop k, section 295 sets the limits at one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset. >> and this cumulative -- i think we should take this up as a cumulative matter because the plan was cumulative and it comes with all the benefits of the plan. it seems it would be analogous to raising -- not raising the height limits during the plan and doing the height limits case by case. i think it makes sense in this case where we've planned for the transbay area to make that plan feasible by making changes to the shadow limits but i want
to get at this issue of how we ensure that the changes we're making are for transbay and not, you know, other projects can kind of take advantage of those increases. >> well, the two ways are part of the qualitative criteria that accompany the budgets and again the first one is that the description of the shadows that could be found to be non-adverse and are within the budgets are that profiles of the shadows, the time of day, location in the park, the time of year, the extent on the park, that matches the analysis that was done for these buildings, so it is -- essentially it is for the plan area and secondarily, that an additional criteria would be that the public good of projects analyze that might take some of this benefit would be considered in the public
good of the plan, of this plan as a whole. >> so, are we doing that also quantitatively where we're saying we're increasing union square's shadow by x, that's for the transbay plan? i mean, it's not just as qualitative analysis, we're saying this allocation is for the transbay plan? >> you're not allocating any portions of the budget, you're setting some criteria for future allocation, so it's there but it's not aztec -- as technical as you're considering it. >> is there an issue where we specify the amount, the percentage that we're increasing and that it's for -- the reason we're doing it is for this plan area? >> no, i mean, the resolution that's before you discusses the reasons why this is being
undertaken, because of the the plan and so forth, but you can't allocate it to buildings that aren't before you yet. >> commissioner antonini. >> thank you, my understanding and this was presented quite well by staff is there was an environmental analysis of buildings that are proposed for the area in consideration and based upon their design and i can tell you that they have not just the transit tower but a number of them have been sculpted and working with staff and others to make sure that their impacts are minimized but given the plans that have been brought forth, although they are not specifically before us, we were able to figure out what these impacts would be and given that impact collectively, you've brought forth an increase in the shadow
allotment and as we go forward with the individual projects, we have to agree we will approve them and will allot to each of these their share of the shadow impact, is that a fair assessment? >> yes. the budget -- creating the budgets doesn't preclude the commission's further discretion in evaluating the specific shadows and entitling the specific projects but it sets the sort of maximum envelope of what can be considered in the future and sets the qualitative criteria by which you will evaluate those projects. >> just setting the project does not mean you approve the budget for any particular project at this particular time? >> that's correct. >> that's one thing and the other question i had was for commissioner wu, i think we already have allocated 9 million dollars for park improvements in chinatown, i think what you were asking to
do was to earmark that money and the first money that was brought forth from the exaction and fees to be used for those parks that might be most impacted by any shadows that need the most, is that what you're asking for? >> yes, that's correct. i think probably to keep it the most flexible to now is to allocate that money for the chinatown parks and leave it at that and at the time of implementation for the planning department to work with community stakeholders so see what that is. >> i think that's already in there, the 9 million of the 13 million being allocated for parks outside of the plan area has been designated for chinatown, is that correct? >> you're correct, but the implementation plan does not state any preferences regarding priority in terms of the timing
of the different improvements. >> what i'm asking for is the priority, i'm asking for the chinatown priority to have the first priority. >> out of that 13 million, the chinatown parks get their first 9 million rather than -- >> 12 and a half would be for parks outside of the plan area of which 9 would be for chinatown, the question is, in the early years as the first fees come in, what -- how should they be prioritized. >> i'm not sure it will be a problem, but if it's appropriate, we should take an action on that, a couple of other things i wanted to mention and correct me if i'm wrong, there are the two areas you spoke about, what was previously redevelopment that is now into the jurisdiction of the successor act si --
agency and then there's the rest of the transbay area which is not under redevelopment and my understanding is the 30% affordable and housing applies to the redevelopment portion and the others 15%, although from what i've seen, most of the housing is going to be taking place in the redevelopment area, the lion share of it, not that there wouldn't be other, but most of the building that's being proposed in the non-redevelopment area, a high percentage of that is housing? that's a good summation it's the engine that's going to fund this basically is the part that's outside of the redevelopment is going to bring the money in to make the rest of it happen? >> the large projects both in the redevelopment area and outside the redevelopment area, but yes, it's all funding the program. >> okay, thank you.
and i guess we have a couple more speakers. i want today make -- wanted to make a motion. >> distributed before your meeting was a sheet that included technical corrections, the last items were correct ined the draft resolutions, you can see that by in large, most of the corrections are the planning commission's motion adding reference to the recreation and park commission motion and correcting some grammatical errors and then in the exhibit, i would add the national qualitative [inaudible] for portsmouth square, correcting that, and as it relates to willie woo woo
wong, but it was just a typographical error. i thought we would propose that any motions pr the commissions would impose that. >> if i'm the maker of the motion, it would include that. >> commissioner sugaya. >> yes, back to staff, just to follow up on commissioner hillis, so that we all absolutely understand the import or implication of approving the cumulative limit, if we approve the cumulative limit, it is not directed toward any particular project, is that correct? >> no, the action of the budget does not for -- >> so, if we increase the cumulative limits on all of these parks, create new ones for the ones that don't have them, conceivably, another project outside this area could come forth and say that we have a public good, etc., and
therefore we fall under the now increased cumulative shadow limit? that is, none of these projects that are within the transit center district plan have any shadow approvals at this point? >> except for the transbay tower which is before the rec commission after this section, but theoretically, your supposition is correct, but because the qualitative criteria are written based on the shadow profiles of buildings in the plan area as analyze ined the eir, it's highly unlikely that another building outside this plan area will crop up that fits these same shadow profiles in terms of time of day and days of the year, it would have to be a building that is exactly in line with one of these buildings and that particular park that is north of market street in some location and based on our assessment of
development patterns and so forth, we think that that is unlikely. >> i have a ceqa related question. we're supposed to be adopting findings under ceqa, can someone tell me where those findings are written. >> john from the city attorney's office, in the agenda, there are two different sets of ceqa findings that are mentioned. there's one set of ceqa findings associated with a joint action which is to change the budgets, those are the ceqa findings that the planning commission adopted in may of this year as part of the transit center district plan. those are the same findings, so you're incorporating those by reference. the second set of ceqa findings that are mentioned are for the rec and park action only. those are unique to the transit
center tower where -- that would be the first action, ceqa triggering action with regard to that project so that has a distinct set of findings. >> and will those findings come before us when we approve the tower, or is that strictly a rec park action? >> absolutely. there's a similar version, the one that recreation and park has today is tailored to that particular commission. you will have your own distinct set of findings, i believe the hearing is for next week. >> thank you. >> commissioner wu? >> thank you. to answer commissioner antonini's question, i believe it is better to put that -- the requirement on the prioritization of the money in a resolution that the commission can consider separately, hopefully next week, can we calendar that for next week? so, that it's clear and there's a chance to be able to review
it. following on this train of thought, if i can ask mr. switzky some questions, also in the qualitative description, it says that individual projects must demonstrate that they have refined the building design. i think my question is then, how do you prove that you have refined the design, how do you prove that you have not just taken the entire shadow allocation and just built to the edges of that shadow allocation? >> well, commissioner borden was asking this, i think we can as future projects come forward slow the design refinements and how projects have been shaped and to some extent, it would be on the project sponsor's architects to show earlier versions of the projects that led up to the ultimate designs. >> so, if they come to us for
entitlement, will they have their own shadow analysis attached to each of those proposals? >> yes, they will. >> okay, thank you. >> commissioner moore? >> not withstanding that the transit center district plan is forward looking, comprehensive and very, very exciting, i have not heard anything which relieves me from the obligations under proposition k. what we have to consider today is a draft resolution to increase the absolute cumulative shadow for a total of 12 buildings, that actually compromised increased heights lofted within the transit center district area plan. these projects all will require an increase in shadow limits in protective parks where under proposition k, the tall ones are described as 0. yet what makes it difficult for me is the following.
if we improve the increase in shadow limits, we will be approving 11 projects of which we don't know more than the shadow outline, something which i hear resonates with a number of commissioners, and this is really an unprecedented way, it undercuts the commission's approval authority and our obligations under prop k and i wanted to talk about prop k. i made these similar comments when it came to the approval of the plan itself where i withheld my vote given my serious conflicts with prop k which i wholeheartedly improved in 1984 and where all my arguments against it will battle out for many years and months that followed. the obligations we have
requires the commission prior to the issuance of a permit to make findings that any shadow cast by a new project on property is insignificant. i have not found the bright line definition for insignificant. the only one i have is that eir clearly says that the shadow impacts of the project are significant and unavoidable as well as unmitt gabl except for the numerical compensation. i went back and i would really like this project to succeed, but i personally do not have the tool tos do so at this very moment. i went back to what city attorney george agnos wrote in august, 1984 where he gave
clarification to the board of supervisors to act to administrator pass more and explained very clearly what the obligations under prop k are for people like ourselves. at that time, there was ongoing discussions about the uncertainty of what it makes, significant, insignificant, in the following years including the memo which was added to what we have today, there were further attempts to more clearly and physically define of what significant and what insignificant shadow impacts are, so the most significant thing is this particular study, i assume mr. switzky recognizes it from here which basically describes in a written description as well as in simulated shadow fans of what
the already existing condition relative to shade on already existing buildings are on these parks and it sets the baseline and from there it derives the conclusion that the tall ones for some of these parks is abing -- actually 0, the study indeed shows there were i think 24 projects which since the late 80's have taken additional shadow allotments out of these budgets and many of them were justified, however, given the massiveness of what is being asked today, i have not seen any relief for my obligation on the prop k to step away from considering that what it says, i cannot support it. that doesn't mean -- or if you would ask me, well, what should we do? i think the one thing would be to consider projects on a project by proj basis, the
transit tower has a lot of important elements which on its own calls for consideration of benefits which have been described eloquently and supported by a large number of people. i would consider -- or i may consider taking that project on its own and finding ways to grapple with shadows, or grapple with shadow increases in certain parks, however, the rest of the transit center district plan and the shadow impacts by 12 other buildings is nothing i can support. >> commissioner borden? >> i think if you believe that the absolutism is 0, then taking it case by case doesn't matter f the absolute is 30, if that's the interpretation i guess. i wanted to clarify with mr. switzky, even with raising the cumulative limits of the
shadows contemplating these projects, we are in no way approving these projects today, these projects have to come to us for approvals, correct? >> correct. >> and they have to be, on their individual merits, we're not being told because of the shadow budget, we have to do it exactly how the buildings are being proposed? >> that's correct. >> i wanted to make that clear. looking at the resolutions that you put before us, perhaps under -- i think there is a concern being raised by the commissioners because there was two instances within the instances within the 1989 memo, one is the discussion of the [inaudible] building and another one is a project in civic center and the only point is that some of the existing shadow budget exists -- does exist because it was contemplated for other projects and now we're not taking that aside and setting a new budget,
we're using that up for this project and adding to it, so perhaps in the language for the resolution under be it further resolved, you have this that it says that the increases in the acl specified and resolution limited to shadow profiles of these cumulative shadows..[reading].. district plan, could we put and intended to be used by buildings in this plan area or does not include buildings outside the plan area, my only point is that there is a concern that another project come forward, take the shadow budget and then a project that is within the district plan area wouldn't have that shadow budget, that's what i'm hearing, and i know that you said generally that's the case but we do know of cases where a shadow budget has remained and we're now using it so maybe a bit of specificity in the resolution would be helpful and i don't know if you have an issue with that. >> can you point out exactly --
what page? >> on the decision, it's page 7 and you have resolved and you have, be it resolved and that's where you mention that the shadows cast within the district plan -- that's where you would add something, my only point is, we can revisit cumulative shadow limits for individual projects, that's what we have done in the past, there's a concern that the budgets that are being set is something outside of that area -- it doesn't negate that we have to in the future if there are projects outside of this area look at whether we want to raise those cumulative shadow limits. >> let me confer with the city attorney for a minute, please.
>> based on my conversation, i think we can strengthen that language a bit, maybe it would say something to the effect that as you're suggesting that these increased limits will not be available to projects outside the plan area. >> tla's fine. i just think people are concerned about the lack of ambiguity being interpreted differently and i think that provides clarity.
about that and i imagine it had to do with the eir, and so what i want to know is how -- what will be the context under which we will review that program or that project? >> that project is not in the plan area, so from a policy basis and the criteria you're adopting today wouldn't fit within those considerations you but when you evaluate that project in the future, presumably you will consider all the cumulative effects of everything else going on in the city or the downtown besides that project and take that into account, but if it's strictly the matter that is within you today, it doesn't fit within
that rubric, it is not within the plan area. >> that's what i was interested in, in finding out, thank you. >> commissioner antonini. >> well, thank you, a couple of things, there was some commentary earlier that the benefits are coming from the transit tower, benefits are coming from all the towers within the plan, we did not have an itemization but i think it's pretty clear that based upon their square footage and other things, they proportionally will all provide towards the aggregate benefit that is going to be derived from the new buildings in the transit district, and also a little bit on just a little final on prop k as i'm reading it and staff gave us all the language and basically ad